Twitter and Foursquare love new languages

Ronny Kerr · February 14, 2011 · Short URL:

Twitter updates Translator Center for crowdsourcing efforts, Foursquare launches five new languages

Once all the hype has passed and user growth isn’t as strong as it once was, one of the easiest ways for a Web service to up its registration numbers is by expanding into more languages, making the service more accessible to more people. Both Foursquare and Twitter announced Monday that they are continuing to make progress on their translation efforts.
Besides English, languages Twitter currently supports include French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. It’s a solid list, but not even close to the tons of languages offered on more established Web titans like Facebook and Wikipedia.
In an effort to quickly bolster its support for multiple languages, Twitter is following examples from those two organizations by turning to the crowd for its foreign language expertise. The company just launched the new Twitter Translator Center (along with its own Twitter account) as a place for any Twitter user to sign up and start translating. Have your loyal fans do all the work for free--it’s a brilliant cost-saving move only possible for Web 2.0 companies.

At the moment, the center specifically says it is looking for translators in French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.
(Hilariously enough, when you sign up, you must agree to terms and conditions that include this gem: “We may show you confidential, yet to be released products or features and you must be willing to keep those secret.” Yeah, right.)
Though not yet hosting a center specifically dedicated to crowdsourcing translations (oh, they will), Foursquare announced that its location service is now available in French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Japanese. When mobile users download the app update, it will automatically change its language to the device’s default.
Foursquare on the Web still needs to be translated, and more languages are coming soon.

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